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Shachi on the roof of Nagoya Castle
A shachihoko float used in Karatsu Kunchi festival

A shachihoko (鯱鉾 / 鯱) – or simply shachi () – is an animal in Japanese folklore with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp.[1] It was believed that this animal could cause the rain to fall, and as such, temples and castles were often adorned with roof ornaments (shibi) crafted in the form of a shachihoko, in order to protect them from fire. Those buildings were often made of wood, rendering them flammable.

When pronounced shachi (), it also means "orca".[2]

Japanese female idol group Team Syachihoko uses the animal in its name and logo.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ しゃちほこ (in Japanese). 三省堂 大辞林.
  2. ^ "しゃち" (in Japanese). 三省堂 大辞林.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Shachi at Wikimedia Commons